EMERGENCY laws needed to stop a string of terrorists being automatically released onto Britain’s streets halfway through their sentences cleared the Commons last night.
Ministers are scrambling to push the reforms through Parliament to stop around 50 offenders being let out of jail early without any checks.
The first was due to be set free at the end of the month with five more following in March.
More than 160 convicted terrorists have been released early in the last seven years.
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said: “Given the risk that this cohort have shown already that they pose to the public, it’s vital that we pass this legislation rapidly before any more terrorists are automatically released from custody at the halfway point and therefore we’re aiming for this legislation to receive royal assent before the end of the month and with the support of this House I am confident that we can do this.”
The Terrorist Offenders Bill will now go before peers where it is expected to face a rockier ride.
But peers have been warned the legislation must be in place by February 27 to stop the next terrorist due for early release being let out.
Sunderland shopkeeper Mohammed Zahir Khan, 42, is scheduled to be freed the next day after serving half of his sentence for encouraging terrorism.
The emergency legislation was introduced in the wake of the Streatham terror attack earlier this month, when Sudesh Amman stabbed two bystanders with a knife he had grabbed from a shop.
The 20-year-old was jailed in December 2018 for possessing and distributing terrorist documents but had been freed midway through his sentence less than a fortnight earlier.
It was the second attack in three months to be carried out by a convicted terrorist, after Usman Khan stabbed and killed two people at Fishmongers’ Hall near London Bridge in November.
He had been released nearly a year earlier, halfway through a 16-year jail sentence.
Former security minister John Hayes told the Commons more than 160 convicted terrorists have been released early from prison since 2013.
Sir John said he was “surprised and disappointed” by the figures, which do not include offenders who have served fewer than 12 months behind bars.
He added: “Just imagine the effect on our security services and police of having to deal with the possible consequences of those releases.”
Sir John said he expected some of the people released would have been rehabilitated and de-radicalised.
He added: “But we know that’s not always the case.”